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The uses of children for London 2012

Back in October 2010 a row broke out over tickets to London 2012 events for children, particularly those from the East End. BoJo hit back saying 120,000 free tickets would be provided for schoolchildren. Now it transpires most of those tickets will be for Paralympic events or football games. About a million football tickets are still unsold. Only one in three children with a ticket will get to see a 'core event'. In London one in eight children is expected to get a ticket but only one in twenty-four will get to see such a core event.

GLA member Dee Doocey commented: 'Children were a big part of the bid in Singapore and the promise has always been to use the Games to inspire a new generation of sports fans. It seems the scheme is more about packing football stadiums than giving London's children the chance to see some of the most exciting events.'

Beijing has already found a 'pleasant irony' at London's discomfort over air pollution. This may be another opportunity for further smug comment. Back in 2008 the Chinese were ridiculed for packing the Olympic stadium with 'volunteer fans'. Now the British will be using schoolchildren!

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